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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Procida - The Bay of Naples’ best kept secret

 

Procida Bay, Italy

 

The Bay of Naples’ smallest island is also its best-kept secret, a blend of hidden lemon groves, weathered fishermen and pastel-hued houses is memorably picturesque. Lose yourself in colourful Terra Murata, a walled medieval town that’s perched staunchly on a hill. There you’ll find the 15th-century Palazzo D’Avalos and Abbazia di San Michele, an 11th-century Benedictine abbey.

 

Procida Island, Italy

 

Procida Bay

 

Procida is a small island in the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, situated between the mainland and the larger island of Ischia. Procida is very heavily populated, with 10,000 residents squeezed into less than two square miles, and it has a more authentic, lived-in feel than touristy Capri and Ischia. The island doesn't have many particular sights of interest, and unfortunately it appears to neglect those it does have. This can be frustrating for travellers, who would be better advised to come here for the island's picturesque, somewhat shabby charm than to seek out cultural attractions.

 

Procida,Italy

 

Procida, Italy

 

The most picturesque and charming spot on the island of Procida is Marina Corricella. This is a thin sliver of waterfront backed by a cliff made of fishermen's houses - at least, that's the colourful impression. Behind a long fishing harbour, houses were built on and into the rock in a kind of pretty vertical muddle. There are several bars and restaurants in Corricella, with tables attractively scattered along the waterfront, interspersed with painted fishing-boats and harbour cats hiding among piled nets. Despite the obvious tourist appeal of the settlement, it still has an 'authentic' feel, like so much of Procida. This is a wonderful spot for a lazy lunch or a romantic evening meal with the water lapping nearby. Unfortunately it is a bit of a walk from the nearest bus routes, and you have to climb up the lanes or steps to leave the settlement, but it is well worth the effort. If you've just visited the Terra Murata, you can take a flight of steps down to Corricella from the road leading up to the headland.

 

Procida, Italy

 

Procida Island, Italy

 

Procida, Italy

 

There are many religious traditions on the island tied to the period of Holy Week before Good Friday. The most evocative of these are the Procession of the Apostles of Holy Thursday and the Procession of the Mysteries of Good Friday. The last one is based on a tradition going back to the end of the 17th century. In the procession, the young males of the island, dressed in the traditional dress of the "Confraternity of the Turchini", carry allegorical wagons (called "mysteries") of religious character for a fixed distance, from the village of Torre Murata to the port of Marina Grande. The "mysteries", often highly artistic, are prepared by the young people and generally nobody except them would have, at least in theory, seen them before the procession. After the procession, they are taken apart or destroyed.

Every summer, there is an election of the Graziella ("Little Graceful"), a young woman that wears the customary clothes of the island, referring to the history told in Alphonse de Lamartine's novel, Graziella. Also during the summer, a literary award dedicated to Elsa Morante and her novel, Arthur's Island, is presented.

 

Naples, Italy

 

Rikshaw, Italy

 

Click for more photos of Naples and Amalfi Coast

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dandenong Ranges of Melbourne

 

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Provence, France

Provence, the south eastern region of France, has always held a special fascination for travellers from all over the world. Its azure skies, brilliant sunlight, and windswept landscapes have inspired artists like C├ęzanne and Van Gogh. Medieval villages perch on hilltops between rolling vineyards, fragrant lavender fields, and craggy mountains.

It is the most irresistible region in France.

 

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Fontaine de Vaucluse

 

Fontaine de Vaucluse is a small village on the edge of the Luberon region of Provence, about 35k east of Avignon. It is one of the most visited places in the Vaucluse. It is home to the spring which flows out of the 230 m high cliff, the emerald green calm waters, and and the beautiful Sorgue river.

 

Fontaine de Vaucluse

 

Fontaine de Vaucluse

 

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Roussillon, Provence, France

 

The ochre village in the heart of the Luberon

Roussillon is classed among the most beautiful in France. Under the azure blue Provencial sky the earth blazes with astonishing palette of flaming colours. The village has seduced many artists. The narrow streets and stairways house art galleries, craftspeople and very good restaurants.

Roussillon is one of the "must-sees" in France.

 

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Roussillon 

Roussillon

 

 

 

Gordes

 

Gordes is officially one of The Most Beautiful Villages in France and gives stunning view as you approach it. It has narrow cobbled streets which thread their way through tall houses; built against the rock, clinging onto its flanks and whispering the tales of a thousand legends. Just outside Gordes are the incredibly picturesque Senanque Abbey with its famed lavender field, and the mysterious Village des Bories.

The stone buildings built in tight against the base of the cliffs and those perched on the rocks above, including the 12th-century castle, are made of an beige stone that glows orange in the morning sun.

Gordes

 

Gordes

 

 

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

 

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This fairytale look of the Neuschwanstein castle inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom.

 

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World Wanders: Bavaria - Neuschwanstein Castle

 

The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited castles in Germany and one of the most popular tourist destination in Europe, located in Bavaria, near Fussen. It was built as a private retreat for “mad” King Ludwig II. After the king’s death in 1886, the castle was opened to the public and is said to have inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle.

 

World Wanders: Bavaria - Hohenschwangau Castle

Click for more photos

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Leica Summicron 50 f/2 on Sony A7R

 

This post is not for any pixel level analysis and numerous grey card photos at various apertures and focal lengths, nor it discusses the micro prisms or distances of sensors to lens - such material is abundant on internet. This post is a sample of real world photography using summicron on A7r, as requested by some friends.

Leica glass and A7R is a great combination, my favourite. Exceptional results, creamy bokeh, brilliant colours, crisp and sharp details with smooth backgrounds, no distortion, and the real photography feel of the glory days. You can once again use your experience to set the exposure and focus right, understand the subject before shooting- not just point and shoot with heavy weight and jumbo sized gadgets.

 

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The small mirrorless camera Sony A7R’s full frame sensor has been rated by DxO as the second highest rated sensor yet, second only to Nikon D800e by only 1 point, which makes it almost the same… the best sensor out there. However digital cameras in today’s era come and go, it is the lenses that stay. Great lenses are forever.

Leica without any doubt makes the best glass for any camera. Leica lenses are not just lenses, they are the world's finest. Sony has provided them with a wonderful full frame platform, with mirrorless through the lens technology. Use aperture priority, custom key for focus-magnify, and… use filters including circular polarizers!

Some samples:

 

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Eid - July 2014

 

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